1. 48389.604756
    Epistemic diversity is the ability or possibility of producing diverse and rich epistemic apparati to make sense of the world around us. In this paper we discuss whether, and to what extent, different conceptions of knowledge – notably as ‘justified true belief’ and as ‘distributed and embodied cognition’ – hinder or foster epistemic diversity. We then link this discussion to the widespread move in science and philosophy towards monolingual disciplinary environments. We argue that English, despite all appearance, is no Lingua Franca, and we give reasons why epistemic diversity is also deeply hindered is monolingual contexts. Finally, we sketch a proposal for multilingual academia where epistemic diversity is thereby fostered.
    Found 13 hours, 26 minutes ago on PhilSci Archive
  2. 279081.604812
    In the Tractatus Wittgenstein argued that there are metaphysical truths. But these are ineffable, for metaphysical sentences try to say what can only be shown. Accordingly, they are pseudo-propositions because they are ill-formed. In the Investigations he no longer thought that metaphysical propositions are pseudo-propositions, but argued that they are either nonsense or norms of descriptions. Popper criticized Wittgenstein’s ideas and argued that metaphysical truths are effable. Yet it is by now clear that he misunderstood Wittgenstein’s arguments (namely that metaphysical propositions are ill-formed because they employ unbound variables) and misguidedly thought that Wittgenstein used the principle of verification for distinguishing empirical propositions from metaphysical propositions. Because Popper developed his philosophy in part as a critique of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, this invites the question of whether these misunderstandings have consequences for his own philosophy. I discuss this question and argue that Popper’s attempt to distinguish metaphysics and science with the aid of a criterion of testability is from Wittgenstein’s perspective misguided. The main problem facing Popper’s philosophy is that alleged metaphysical propositions are not theoretical propositions but rules for descriptions (in the misleading guise of empirical propositions). If Wittgenstein’s ideas are correct, then metaphysical problems are not scientific but grammatical problems which can only be resolved through conceptual investigations.
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  3. 279108.604832
    One of the central philosophical debates prompted by general relativity concerns the status of the metric field. A number of philosophers have argued that the metric field should no longer be regarded as part of the background arena in which physical fields evolve; it should be regarded as a physical field itself. Earman and Norton write, for example, that the metric tensor in general relativity ‘incorporates the gravitational field and thus, like other physical fields, carries energy and momentum’.1 Indeed, they baldly claim that according to general relativity ‘geometric structures, such as the metric tensor, are clearly physical fields in spacetime’.2 On such a view, spacetime itself— considered independently of matter—has no metrical properties, and the mathematical object that best represents spacetime is a bare topological manifold. As Rovelli puts the idea: ‘the metric/gravitational field has acquired most, if not all, the attributes that have characterized matter (as opposed to spacetime) from Descartes to Feynman...
    Found 3 days, 5 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 394420.604846
    Fuchs and Peres (2000) claimed that standard Quantum Mechanics needs no interpretation. In this essay, I show the flaws of the arguments presented in support to this thesis. Specifically, it will be claimed that the authors conflate QM with Quantum Bayesianism (QBism) - the most prominent subjective formulation of quantum theory; thus, they endorse a specific interpretation of the quantum formalism. Secondly, I will explain the main reasons for which QBism should not be considered a physical theory, being it concerned exclusively with agents’ beliefs and silent about the physics of the quantum regime. Consequently, the solutions to the quantum puzzles provided by this approach cannot be satisfactory from a physical perspective. In the third place, I evaluate Fuchs and Peres arguments contra the non-standard interpretations of QM, showing again the fragility of their claims. Finally, it will be stressed the importance of the interpretational work in the context of quantum theory.
    Found 4 days, 13 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  5. 507237.604859
    The uneducated person blames others for their failures; those who have just begun to be instructed blame themselves; those whose learning is complete blame neither others nor themselves.1 So says Epictetus, spelling out one tenet of Stoic thought: that blame, whether of oneself or another, has no place in a life wisely lived. To blame is unhealthy and dispensable. This tenet long endeared me to Stoicism. For I was, for many years, what Peter Graham calls a ‘blame sceptic’. That is not to say that I resiled from blaming. Rather, I blamed and then reproached myself for doing so. Since reproaching entails blaming, I thereby compounded my felony. And then, reproaching myself for compounding my felony, I compounded it some more.
    Found 5 days, 20 hours ago on John Gardner's site
  6. 789105.604876
    The combination of panpsychism and priority monism leads to priority cosmopsychism, the view that the consciousness of individual sentient creatures is derivative of an underlying cosmic consciousness. It has been suggested that contemporary priority cosmopsychism parallels central ideas in the Advaita Vedānta tradition. The paper offers a critical evaluation of this claim. It argues that the Advaitic account of consciousness cannot be characterized as an instance of priority cosmopsychism, points out the differences between the two views, and suggests an alternative positioning of the Advaitic canon within the contemporary debate on monism and panpsychism.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  7. 846940.604889
    It is almost unanimously accepted in the moral luck literature that Kant denies resultant moral luck—that is, he denies that the lucky consequence of a person’s action can affect how much praise or blame she deserves. Philosophers often point to the famous good will passage at the beginning of the Groundwork to justify this claim. I argue, however, that this passage does not support Kant’s denial of resultant moral luck. Subsequently, I argue that Kant allows agents to be morally responsible for certain kinds of lucky consequences. Even so, I argue that it is unclear whether Kant ultimately endorses resultant moral luck. The reason is that Kant does not write enough on moral responsibility for consequences to determine definitively whether he thinks that the lucky consequence for which an agent is morally responsible can add to her degree of praiseworthiness or blameworthiness. The clear upshot, however, is that Kant does not deny resultant moral luck.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  8. 962657.604902
    In politics, representation is as representation does. Or – it is the contingent product of what is done with it, or in its name. Against this background, efforts by theorists to extract representation’s essence from its contexts and functions do not necessarily advance our understanding (Derrida 1982, 301). Likewise, neat distinctions between (e.g.) two or more types, forms or qualities of representation are common in democratic theory, but the practices which produce representation often traverse and disrupt static and neat distinctions. Consider the example of “self-appointed representation” (SAR) (Montanaro 2012) and its implied opposite “other-appointed representation” (OAR). SAR, to be representation, depends in some form on recognition by others. OAR, to be representation, depends on a presentation of a self adequate to representation. This is one instance of representation’s diverse and common liminal qualities, which see it traversing and complicating neat categorisations.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  9. 1020468.604916
    In his On the Genealogy of Morality Nietzsche famously discusses a psychological condition he calls ressentiment, a form of toxic, vengeful anger. In this paper, I offer a free-standing theory in philosophical psychology of what is characteristic of this state. My view takes some inspiration from Nietzsche, but this paper will not be a work of exegesis. In the process of developing my account, I will try to chart the terrain around ressentiment and closely-related and sometimes overlapping states (ordinary moral resentment, envy, vengefulness, anger, and the like) and also seek to explain what’s ethically objectionable as well as psychologically pernicious about ressentiment. Ressentiment, I shall contend in this paper, is not simply a ten dollar word substitutable for ‘resentment,’ though it is indeed a species of that genus. On the account I develop, the perception of being slighted, insulted, or demeaned figures centrally in cases of ressentiment.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  10. 1038063.604929
    Sometimes theists wonder how God’s beliefs track particular portions of reality, e.g. contingent states of affairs, or facts regarding future free actions. In this article I sketch a general model for how God’s beliefs track reality. God’s beliefs track reality in much the same way that propositions track reality, namely via grounding. Just as the truth values of true propositions are generally or always grounded in their truthmakers, so too God’s true beliefs are grounded in the subject matters of those beliefs (i.e. God believes that p in virtue of the fact that p). This is not idle speculation, since my proposal allows the theist to account for God’s true beliefs regarding causally inert portions of reality.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Andrew Brenner's site
  11. 1086789.604945
    Paul Busch has emphasized on various occasions the importance for physics of going beyond a merely instrumentalist view of quantum mechanics. Even if we cannot be sure that any particular realist interpretation describes the world as it actually is, the investigation of possible realist interpretations helps us to develop new physical ideas and better intuitions about the nature of physical objects at the micro level. In this spirit, Paul Busch himself pioneered the concept of “unsharp quantum reality”, according to which there is an objective non-classical indeterminacy—a lack of sharpness—in the properties of individual quantum systems. We concur with Busch’s motivation for investigating realist interpretations of quantum mechanics and with his willingness to move away from classical intuitions. In this article we try to take some further steps on this road. In particular, we pay attention to a number of prima facie implausible and counter-intuitive aspects of realist interpretations of unitary quantum mechanics. We shall argue that from a realist viewpoint, quantum contextuality naturally leads to “perspectivalism” with respect to properties of spatially extended quantum systems, and that this perspectivalism is important for making relativistic covariance possible.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  12. 1202825.604958
    What are the epistemic benefits of democracy? According to the ‘epistemic democrats’, democratic procedures such as deliberation and voting are valuable in part because they produce epistemically valuable outcomes. Indeed, epistemic democrats claim the legitimacy of democracy depends, at least in part, on the epistemic quality of the outcomes of political decision-making processes. In this paper, I want to consider two epistemic factors that might figure into the value of democracy, namely, veritistic and non-veritistic epistemic goals.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  13. 1210818.604971
    Absolutism about mass within Newtonian Gravity claims that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Comparativism denies this. Defenders of comparativism promise to recover all the empirical and theoretical virtues of absolutism, but at a lower ‘metaphysical cost’. This paper develops a Machian form of comparativism about mass in Newtonian Gravity, obtained by replacing Newton’s constant in the law of Universal Gravitation by another constant divided by the sum over all masses. Although this form of comparativism is indeed empirically equivalent to the absolutist version of Newtonian Gravity—thereby meeting the challenge posed by the comparativist’s bucket argument—it is argued that the explanatory power and metaphysical parsimony of comparativism (and especially its Machian form) are highly questionable.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilSci Archive
  14. 1273674.604986
    In this paper, I develop and defend a new adverbial theory of perception. I first present a semantics for direct-object perceptual reports that treats their object-positions as supplying adverbial modifiers, and I show how this semantics definitively solves the many-property problem for adverbialism. My solution is distinctive in that it articulates adverbialism from within a well-established formal semantic framework and ties adverbialism to a plausible semantics for perceptual reports in English. I then go on to present adverbialism as a theory of the metaphysics of perception. The metaphysics I develop treats adverbial perception as a directed activity: it is an activity with success conditions. When perception is successful, the agent bears a relation to a concrete particular, but perception need not be successful; this allows perception to be fundamentally non-relational. The result is a novel formulation of adverbialism that eliminates the need for representational contents, but also treats successful and unsuccessful perceptual events as having a fundamental common factor.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  15. 1339316.604999
    According to rationalists, synthetic a priori propositions convey new knowledge, whereas analytic propositions are non-informative or vacuous conceptual truths. However, as we argue in this article, each a priori proposition is necessarily true because of its semantic constituents and the way they are combined, and hence can be transformed into its equivalent analytic form. So each synthetic a priori proposition conveys only non-informative conceptual truths like analytic propositions.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  16. 1347018.605014
    Richard Hare left behind at his death a long essay titled “A Philosophical Autobiography”, which was published after his death. Its opening is striking: I had a strange dream, or half-waking vision, not long ago. I found myself at the top of a mountain in the mist, feeling very pleased with myself, not just for having climbed the mountain, but for having achieved my life’s ambition, to find a way of answering moral questions rationally. But as I was preening myself on this achievement, the mist began to clear, and I saw that I was surrounded on the mountain top by the graves of all those other philosophers, great and small, who had had the same ambition, and thought they had achieved it.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Wes Morriston's site
  17. 1390218.605027
    In recent years there has been an explosion of philosophical work on blame. Much of this work has focused on explicating the nature of blame or on examining the norms that govern it, and the primary motivation for theorizing about blame seems to derive from blame’s tight connection to responsibility. However, very little philosophical attention has been given to praise and its attendant practices. In this paper, I identify three possible explanations for this lack of attention. My goal is to show that each of these lines of thought is mistaken and to argue that praise is deserving of careful, independent analysis by philosophers interested in theorizing about responsibility.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1398037.60504
    In this article, it is argued that the Gibbs- Liouville theorem is a mathematical representation of the statement that closed classical systems evolve deterministically. From the perspective of an observer of the system, whose knowledge about the degrees of freedom of the system is complete, the statement of deterministic evolution is equivalent to the notion that the physical distinctions between the possible states of the system, or, in other words, the information possessed by the observer about the system, is never lost. Thus, it is proposed that the Gibbs-Liouville theorem is a statement about the dynamical evolution of a closed classical system valid in such situations where information about the system is conserved in time. Furthermore, in this article it is shown that the Hamilton equations and the Hamilton principle on phase space follow directly from the differential representation of the Gibbs-Liouville theorem, i.e. that the divergence of the Hamiltonian phase flow velocity vanish. Thus, considering that the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics are related via the Legendre transformation, it is obtained that these two standard formulations are both logical consequences of the statement of deterministic evolution, or, equivalently, information conservation.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  19. 1398083.605053
    The human being is a paradox. We, a result of evolution, have developed the theory of evolution. Namely, the evolutionary process, in an unprecedented attempt, has been thought by one of its products — the bootstrapping is in place: the explanandum nominates itself as the explanans . Yet, the concept of evolution is one thing, while evolution itself is another. Upfront, this is an attempt to rescue Bergson’s intuitionsii on heterogeneous continuity, his notion of multiplicity, so as to recover that which, being at the core of evolution, has been lost by our habitual ways of thinking about it.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  20. 1575496.605066
    In this article, it is argued that the Gibbs- Liouville theorem is a mathematical representation of the statement that closed classical systems evolve deterministically. From the perspective of an observer of the system, whose knowledge about the degrees of freedom of the system is complete, the statement of deterministic evolution is equivalent to the notion that the physical distinctions between the possible states of the system, or, in other words, the information possessed by the observer about the system, is never lost. Thus, it is proposed that the Gibbs-Liouville theorem is a statement about the dynamical evolution of a closed classical system valid in such situations where information about the system is conserved in time. Furthermore, in this article it is shown that the Hamilton equations and the Hamilton principle on phase space follow directly from the differential representation of the Gibbs-Liouville theorem, i.e. that the divergence of the Hamiltonian phase flow velocity vanish. Thus, considering that the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics are related via the Legendre transformation, it is obtained that these two standard formulations are both logical consequences of the statement of deterministic evolution, or, equivalently, information conservation.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  21. 1616960.605079
    In this article, Michael Marder interprets the “toxic flood” we are living or dying through as a global dump. On his reading, multiple levels of existence—from the psychic to the physiological, from the environmental-elemental to the planetary—are being converted into a dump, a massive and still growing hodgepodge of industrial and consumer byproducts and emissions; shards of metaphysical ideas and theological dreams; radioactive materials; light, sound, and other modes of sensory pollution; pesticides and herbicides; and so forth. Toxicity targets our bodily tissues, senses, and minds, not to mention our worlds, without individuating us in this targeting, as indifferent and random as the global dump that nourishes it. Disrupting metabolism at every scrambled register of existence, it waxes into what Marder calls “ontological toxicity,” the mangled parts of the dump that do not pass through and out of being and, in not passing, warrant the annihilation, the rapid passing away, of all else. In an ontologically toxic state, the meaning of being is being dumped.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on Michael Marder's site
  22. 1625212.605094
    This is a (likely incomplete) transcendental phenomenology of professional failure. You can read it, if you like. Or don’t. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  23. 1676105.605107
    This paper briefly discusses some of David Bohm’s views on mind and matter and suggests that they allow for a stronger possibility for conscious free will to influence quantum dynamics than Henry Stapp’s approach.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  24. 1676170.605121
    The problem of synthetic judgements touches on the question of whether philosophy can draw independent statements about reality in the first place. For Kant, the synthetic judgements a priori formulate the conditions of the possibility for objectively valid knowledge. Despite the principle fallibility of its statements, modern science aims for objective knowledge. This gives the topic of synthetic a priori unbroken currency. This paper aims to show that a modernized version of transcendental philosophy, if it is to be feasible at all, must “bid farewell” to the concept of being “free of empiricism” or the “purity” of the a priori. Approaches to this end can already been found in Kant’s reflections on non-pure synthetic knowledge. Moreover, the a priori validity of knowledge does not exclude the possibility that it can be discovered empirically. In keeping with Kant, Fries and Nelson anticipated this separation (usually first attributed to Reichenbach) between the validity and discovery context of knowledge and pointed out that the a priori could be discovered empirically, but never proven.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  25. 1801473.605148
    During the last few years, it has become usual to turn to some seventeenth century readings of the traditional idea of an original common possession of the earth for philosophical aid to explain and support the rights of persons in situations of extreme need, including refugees. Hugo Grotius’s conception of this idea is one of the most cited ones. In this paper, I hold that a Grotian reading of the idea of an original common possession of the earth is not a fruitful principle if we want to elaborate a solid defence of the rights of the ones in need. I reconstruct and analyse the role this idea has in Grotius’s theory of private property and present objections to it from a Kantian perspective.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  26. 1925580.605176
    The analysis of theory-confirmation generally takes the form: show that a theory in conjunction with physical data and auxiliary hypotheses yield a prediction about phenomena; verify the prediction; provide a quantitative measure of the degree of theory-confirmation this yields. The issue of confirmation for an entire framework (e.g., Newtonian mechanics en bloc, as opposed, say, to Newton’s theory of gravitation) either does not arise, or is dismissed in so far as frameworks are thought not to be the kind of thing that admits scientific confirmation. I argue that there is another form of scientific reasoning that has not received philosophical attention, what I call Newtonian abduction, that does provide confirmation for frameworks as a whole, and does so in two novel ways. (In particular, Newtonian abduction is not inference to the best explanation, but rather is closer to Peirce’s original idea of abduction.) I further argue that Newtonian abduction is at least as important a form of reasoning in science as the deductive form sketched above. The form is beautifully summed up by Maxwell (1876): “The true method of physical reasoning is to begin with the phenomena and to deduce the forces from them by a direct application of the equations of motion.”
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilSci Archive
  27. 1933129.605191
    Robert Grosseteste (ca. 1168–1253), Bishop of Lincoln from 1235 to 1253, was one of the most prominent and remarkable figures in thirteenth-century English intellectual life. He was a man of many talents: commentator and translator of Aristotle and Greek patristic thinkers, philosopher, theologian, and student of nature. He was heavily influenced by Augustine, whose thought permeates his writings and from whom he drew a Neoplatonic outlook, but he was also one of the first to make extensive use of the thought of Aristotle, Avicenna and Averroes. He developed a highly original and imaginative account of the generation and fundamental nature of the physical world in terms of the action of light, and composed a number of short works regarding optics and other natural phenomena, as well as works of philosophy and theology.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on Wes Morriston's site
  28. 1957723.605204
    Kurt Gödel (1931) showed that the formalist program of David Hilbert was doomed by demonstrating that within a consistent formal system that a Peano axiomatized arithmetic can be carried out is incomplete. It will be able to generate statements that can neither be proved or disproved. Likewise, for such a system its consistency cannot be proved within the system itself. Central to the incompleteness theorem was the use of paradox based on self-referencing. “This statement is unprovable.” A great irony of the theorem is that Gödel used the system developed by Whitehead and Russell (1910-13) to avoid various logical paradoxes to generate his own paradox, thus hammering home the failure of the formalist program.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on Barkley Rosser's site
  29. 2034186.605219
    Some time ago, after hearing something along the lines of “the infinite differs from the finite” or “infinite numbers are different from finite numbers” for the umpteenth time, two things occurred to me. These are phrases reminiscent of the language used in bubbles. And infinite numbers need not differ from finite numbers. This paper develops those ideas.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  30. 2070351.605232
    At the boundaries of metaphysics and natural philosophy lies a fascinating medieval dispute over the way qualitative change takes place. Although modern philosophy has had little to say about this issue, anyone who needs properties or dispositions to do serious explanatory work should attend to how such qualitative features of reality intensify and diminish. For now, the most sophisticated such accounts are to be found in the later Middle Ages.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Robert Pasnau's site